What an incredible journey this has been. I am in awe of all that I have learned, all that I have processed through, all that I have been humbled by. This experience has been more than training for a marathon, more than the physical preparation... this has been the expansion of my heart... the continuation of my heart for Mitch to the hearts of many that are suffering from blood related cancers. This is a labor of love, a passionate endeavor to spread awareness and ignite a fervor to find a cure! (This is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in comparison to what Mitch endured... my vocabulary could never convey how minute this is to his battle [and the battle of SO many]... This, though, is not to downplay the hard work that it is for so many... a marathon is by no means an easy feat, I just don't want to put it in the same category as a dual with cancer...)
Last Saturday I struggled to get out of bed. My first thought was to curl up in my blankets and avoid hill training at all costs, but to no avail! My mind quickle turned to Mitch. I distinctly remember Mitch's determination even while weakened by this horrid disease. There was a time in Mitch's treatment where he was unable to qualify for treatment that would lead to the bone marrow transplant (and a hope for a cure)... his lungs were not cooperating as they were riddled with a form of pneumonia. He had but days to increase his lung's capacityand pass a respiratory test to continue onto treatment. Mitch held my hand and looked at his parents and I as he said that he has so much to fight for.. With tears in our eyes we belived that the Lord would perform a miracle. And He did. The doctors were less than encouraging that this would happen. Mitch wouldn't take this as the final conclusion...
Day after day Mitch would walk laps around the hospital floor with his amazing brother and father, IV drip machine in tote. Every time that he passed he would look into his room at his mother and I with a playful wink and smile... A memory that brings sweet tears to my eyes. The sound of his voice greeting me with a "hi, baby" as he passed helps me to almost feel his embrace and visualize the grey and black hoodie that he would often wear. When he wasn't pacing the halls of the hospital he was working so hard on the elliptical (while his dad would keep him company on the stationary bike). There they would have amazing intimate talks about how Mitch wanted to use his experience to bless others. Wow, what an amazing man... The strength of the Lord in him. I am so proud!!!
It was then time for the respiratory function test... I remember waiting with his incredible family with bated breath hoping for Mitch's triumphant victory! Mitch's numbers were significantly better! The mere fact that Mitch was able to function at the capacity that he was and train the way he did was a sweet miracle, so much so that the doctors couldn't even deny it.
This was but one of the miracles in Mitch's journey. One of the first was that I was blessed enough for him to choose me to come alongside of him for it. I cannot imagine my life without the selfless, unconditional exchange of his love and mine.
If Mitch can be sick, and carrying the burden that hospitalization, disease, taking care of others that were concerned about him, and he can go on rigorous walks and elliptical training (with an AMAZINGLY kind, sweet, selfless and loving demeanor) then I can stinkin' go on a run... a run. Seems to pale in comparison. But what is behind the run, the greater purpose, gives it substance. So I went...
I got out of bed, immediately after my feel hit the floor a friend texted me to say "I hope you crush your run!" Great encouragment that I needed... followed by an email notification of a sweet friend's donation! THANK YOU isn't enough!! Talk about confirmation that these efforts are done to bless others... I simply cannot give up! Mitch didn't. Many, many others don't.
On a side note I have decided to start another fundraising do-dad... I would love, love, love to bake cupcakes/cakes for any of your sugary needs (i.e. parties, dinner, benefits, your own personal tummy) for a possible donation. Pass the word my lovely friends!!! My friend Chris Meyer inspired me in her fundraising journey of doing this as well!!! She is AWESOME!
Here are the flavor options (or if you have any specific needs, wants, decoration preferences, etc. you can request that too!): (recipes compiled from Better Homes and Gardens source)
Vanilla, Cherry-Almond, Vanilla Chocolate-Peppermint
Orange Cream Pop, Boston Cream Pies, Mocha-Filled Banana
Neapolitan, Jelly-Filled Doughnut, Salted Caramel-Chocolate
Banana Split, Red Velvet, Cranberry Chai
Shamrock Milk Shake, Black Forest, Raspberry-Lemonade
Hot Fudge Sundae, Blueberry Muffin,Chocolate Chip Cookie
Root Beer Float, Cinnamon Roll, Confetti
Lemon-Drop, Lemon Meringue Pie, Gingerbread
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Twist, Pineapple-Carrot, Vegan Chocolate
Pumpkin, Sugar and Spice, Citrus Yellow
Banana Butter, Bittersweet Chocolate, Chai Cream
Champagne, Cherry-Almond Chocolate
Citrus, Buttercream, Cocoa Butter
Coffee, Buttercream Cream Cheese, Cream Cheese-Raspberry
Peppermint, Raspberry Dark Chocolate
Ganache, Grasshopper, Honey
Irish Cream, Lemon, Peanut Butter
Vanilla-Hazelnut, Vanilla, Vegan Chocolate
If you would like to partake please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your:
Phone Number: ________________________________
Decoration/Embellishment Specifications: ________________________________
Date Needed: ________________________________
ALL of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (I am donating ingredients)... Woohooo!!!!